It’s Obvious

So said Gen. Kevin Chilton, US Strategic Command’s top official. Speaking Thursday to an audience at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Chilton said the US military needs to do a lot more to ensure the security of its cyber networks. In fact, he said he wants 2009 to be the year in which the US military’s efforts in this regard really gain momentum. It’s one of his “high priorities” in 2009 and will be “a major focus area” of the command. “Sometimes the obvious can creep right past us,” said Chilton. He continued, “In the cyberspace domain, here are some obvious things: We are under attack. We are behind. We are reactive. We are not proactive. And, we—all of us—are making it too easy—too easy—for those who would exploit and attack our networks today.” Chilton advocates a three-pronged approach that addresses cyber culture, conduct, and capabilities. Among the improvements, he called for greater vigilance by wing commanders in monitoring their networks, a rigorous inspection regime for cyber mission compliance, and an automated system for upgrading software and broadcasting threat warnings across DOD’s networks. “The threat in cyberspace is changing every day and yet we don’t have a conduct or a culture that informs our people what that threat is,” Chilton said.